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Digging Homer: The Mycenaean Palace at Iklaina and the Birth of Greek Epic Poetry
Sunday, April 18, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT
Dr. Michael B. Cosmopoulos, Hellenic Government-Karakas Family Foundation Professor of Archaeology and Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, University of Missouri-St. Louis
For thousands of years Homer’s Iliad has remained the classic tale of love, honor, and war. Exciting archaeological discoveries in the past 150 years have unearthed the great palaces of the Homeric heroes and revived the fascinating society of the Mycenaeans. In antiquity itself, and in our memory of antiquity, the great palaces at Mycenae, Tiryns, Pylos, and Troy stand at the crossroads between myths and historical reality. The world of the Mycenaeans still holds, however, many surprises. Recent excavations at the site of Iklaina have brought to light one of the capitals of the Mycenaean state of Pylos. Massive Cyclopean structures, monumental buildings decorated with beautiful wall paintings, advanced urban infrastructure, and the earliest known records of state bureaucracy challenge current knowledge about the origins and operation of Mycenaean states and allow us a glimpse into previously unknown aspects of the Homeric epics. In this illustrated lecture Professor Cosmopoulos will present the exciting archaeological discoveries at Iklaina and discuss their significance for the historical foundation of Homer’s epics.
Dr. Michael B. Cosmopoulos is the Hellenic Government-Karakas Family Foundation Professor of Archaeology and Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Before coming to UMSL, he was Professor of Classics at the University of Manitoba. His research interests are the culture, religion, and political organization of ancient Greece, about which he was published 16 books and over 100 scholarly articles and papers. He has excavated at several ancient sites in Greece and Ukraine and is currently directing the Iklaina Archaeological Project. For his teaching he has been awarded several teaching awards, including the Archaeological Institute of America Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, of the Academy of Science St. Louis, of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, a Corresponding Member of the Athens Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a National Geographic Society Explorer. For more information please visit www.michaelcosmopoulos.org